Smudging with sage, a demonstrator stands before a no-trespass banner during a #LandBack protests on Sioux Nation treaty territory in South Dakota on July 3, 2020. Photo courtesy Chyna Lockett

Native Sun News Today: Oyate serves pipelines with ‘eviction notice’

KEYSTONE, South Dakota – Inspired by the indigenous-led Black Hills #LandBack demonstration here earlier this summer, the Great Plains Action Society and other non-profits are circulating an “Eviction Notice” to the Dakota Access Pipeline and Keystone XL Pipeline.

They are asking for signatures of Lakota people, tribal governments and native groups on one version of the notice and soliciting the names of allies on another. The notice says:

“We evict KXL and DAPL from our Lakota lands.

“Indigenous people have lived on these lands since time immemorial, predating the Western concept of the nation state. The Lakota origin stories state we emerged from the Black Hills, He Sapa, the center of everything that is.

“The Oceti Sakowin and our allies signed treaties with the United States government, which according to the U.S. Constitution, “treaties are the supreme law of the land.” The Ft. Laramie Treaty of 1868 acknowledges the sovereignty of the Oceti Sakowin, legally known as The Sioux Nation of Indians, over our lands “as long as the grass shall grow and the rivers will flow."

Buffalo, South Dakota, is at the center of this pipeline map prepared for the Native Sun News Today. The city received state permission for a new municipal well providing public water to the private TC Energy Corp., which seeks to build the Keystone XL Pipeline across the Sioux Nation unceded Ft Laramie Treaty territory. Map by Frank DiCaesare

“The Treaty states, ‘If bad men among the whites, or among other people subject to the authority of the United States, shall commit any wrong upon the person or property of the Indians, the United States will, upon proof made to the agent and forwarded to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs at Washington City, proceed at once to cause the offender to be arrested and punished according to the laws of the United States, and also reimburse the injured person for the loss sustained.’

“Whereas corporations have fought hard to gain personhood, notably the right to freedom of religion (Burrell v. Hobby Lobby) and freedom of political speech (Citizens United). We acknowledge the corporate personhood of the entities and owners of the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Keystone XL Pipeline in so far as they are the ‘bad men’ mentioned in the Ft. Laramie Treaty.

“They attacked our people with dogs at Standing Rock, destroyed the graves of indigenous ancestors, threaten our source of drinking water with deadly contamination; they use our water to build these pipelines; they bring their man camps that come with drugs and terrible violence; they build their pipelines across our lands without our consent.

“We evict KXL and DAPL from our lands; we stand on our treaty rights to do so. We also stand on our inherent rights as indigenous people that are ours under natural law.

“We invoke our ancestors to stand with us now, for our water, for our land, and the generations yet unborn.”

The grassroots statewide Dakota Rural Action recently filed a motion objecting to the South Dakota Water Management Board approval of a new water well for the city of Buffalo, which has a contract to use the municipal source for the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline construction.

The governor’s appointed board unanimously approved the water well application during a July meeting at which it refused to provide remote access to intervenors contesting the permit, among them Elizabeth Lone Eagle of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, which has prohibited travel due to coronavirus pandemic concerns.

Lone Eagle, Dakota Rural Action and several other intervenors had successfully lobbied the board to delay the hearing from June until July in hopes of a safer health situation.


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